'They are hungry': Wolves worry K'atl'odeeche First Nation residents, says councillor

Two of the wolves were shot and one was trapped by local hunters.

7 wolves have been spotted on the reserve; 3 were killed by local hunters

Councillor Doug Lamalice is telling people to stay close to vehicles or a house if they're out at night. (Kirsten Murphy/CBC)

Residents of the K'atl'odeeche First Nation (KFN) near Hay River, N.W.T. are looking over their shoulders after seven wolves were spotted on the reserve last week.

Two of the wolves have since been shot and one was trapped by local hunters. The pelts of all three will be brought to the territorial government's Department of Environment and Natural Resources to be part of the Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur Program.

In a statement, the department said the reserve is on federal land, which is outside their jurisdiction, but officers "will respond as a matter of public safety" if required.

The statement also said "this is a normal pattern by wolves at this time of year as the lake is not yet frozen and therefore, they are taking alternate routes in their search for food."

No one has been injured, but two dogs were savagely attacked and died on the reserve. Resident Jasmine Norn said people feel stalked by the animals.

"I know a lot of us are really scared because usually a lot of the younger children play outside during the day and sometimes at night," Norn said.

KFN band councillor Doug Lamalice is telling people to stay close to vehicles or a house if they are out at night.

He agrees wildlife in the area is normal, but said wolves this close to the community is not.

"This is very unusual. They usually hang around on the edge [of the reserve] and they will eat where the people are [ice] fishing. I've seen that in the Old Village, but they stayed away from the community," Lamalice said.

He said recent open-burning in Hay River may have driven the animals toward the reserve.

"They are hungry and the snow is deep. There is not much moose and they can't catch rabbits easily so they have a problem, and now we have a problem because they are coming right into our yards."